PDF Continuing Education: Real World Document Makeovers


The first PDF featured in this series is one we referenced previously in our Planet PDF Weblog.

Number of pages: 44 Original file size: 20.38 MB Original Application: Unknown, but likely Adobe Illustrator or similar Original PDF Production: Adobe Acrobat Distiller 5.05 Revised file size: 763 kb Size reduction after review: 96.25%

Primary Concern: File size.

Secondary Concern: The lack of searchable text renders the file ‘invisible’ to search engines. The lack of document metadata compounds this issue.

Samsung Media Kit

Other Issues: The lack of bookmarks requires the user to flip through the pages to locate the information they seek.

Reviewer’s Notes: Due to the file-creation method, it was necessary to convert

the file to raster images — essentially, printing and scanning — before reprocessing. Size could

have been further reduced by another 30 percent through conversion of the tables in the document to

PDF/Formatted Text & Graphics. For review purposes, however, the tables were retained as images.

Key Recommendations: Adjust application and PDF creation settings to produce text

based instead of artwork-based files. Basic adjustments to the file creation method would have

delivered a file of less than two percent of the original size with no additional work.

Additionally, bookmarks should be added to longer published documents to assist the user in

locating the information they seek.

PDF File Attribute Analysis: Before & After

NOTE: See a Glossary of Terms used in the chart below.

Attribute Before After
Basic Qualities
PDF Subtype Vector Art Formatted Text & Graphics
Searchable Text No Yes
Fast Web View Yes Yes
Version Compatibility Acrobat 4 Acrobat 4
Font Handling None Embedded/Base 14
Bi-tonal Image Compression N/A N/A
Bi-tonal Image Resolution N/A N/A
Color/Grayscale Image Type Vector Art JPEG
Color/Grayscale Image Resolution N/A Medium (Photoshop 7)
Initial View Page Only Bookmarks and Page
Page Orientation Mixed Corrected for on-screen view
Page Layout (Initial) Mixed Single Page (Fit Page)
*Tagged For Enhanced Accessibility No No
Metadata Fields Empty Filled
Document Display in Title Bar File Name File Title
**Google PDF Quality Index N/A Excellent
Navigation/Interactive Features
Form Fields N/A N/A
Bookmarks No Yes
Internal Links No No (No Table of Contents)
URLs in document linked No Yes
Other Features N/A N/A
Secured against change No Yes
Secured against content extraction No Yes
Acrobat/Reader version required to open Acrobat/Reader 4.0 Acrobat/Reader 4.0

* Tagging ensures compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, and is required for

Federal Government documents. Tagging this file for demonstration purposes was outside the scope of

this review.

** Google PDF Quality Index (GPQI) is the reviewer’s measure of the likelihood of satisfactory

results when the file is indexed by the Google search engine.

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About the Author: Duff Johnson

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